AMAC Magazine - Volume 17 / Issue 6 - NOV/DEC 2023

observers in the media to whom they appear designed to appeal, they have failed to propel him above the low single digits in national primary polls  further highlighting a disconnect between the establishment political class and the conservative voting base. On some issues, Christie is in line with the average Repub- lican voter. Like Trump and others in the race, he supports deploying the National Guard to the southern border to stop the border crisis, and has adopted some hawkish posi- tions on opposing China. But Christie has broken with many conservative-populist figures by openly advocating for even more US funding for Ukraine, and he does not support federal protections for the unborn. Christie has also been broadly supportive of most of the indictments against Trump, and has butted heads with conservatives on issues like climate change. Although Christie’s path to victory remains slim, his campaign has invested heavily in New Hampshire. If Christie can manage to eke out a second- or third-place finish in the Granite State, he could shake up the race and (although it is now difficult to imagine) perhaps threaten other candidates’ fortunes in South Carolina and other early primary contests. In the not-so-distant past, Christie was universally regarded by the media and conservative voters alike as a rising star in the Republican Party. In 2016, he fell short of this reputa- tion at the ballot box. Whether he can ultimately defy the odds and reclaim his previously respected status among Republican voters remains to be seen.

M any voters remember former New Jersey governor Chris Christie for his big personality and his formi- dable presence on the debate stage alongside his GOP rivals during the 2016 primaries. Though Christie by all accounts remains a right-of-center figure who can hold his own in Republican debates, his image among conservative voters has in many ways changed over the last decade. Rather than direct his energy toward the incumbent Demo- crat presidential administration, Christie’s 2024 campaign has been primarily focused on attacking Donald Trump. “Donald, I know you’re watching, you can’t help yourself,” Christie said in a shot across the bow to his one-time political ally at the second Republican primary debate in September. “You’re not here tonight, not because of polls, and not because of your indictments. You’re not here tonight because you’re afraid of being on the stage and defending your record.” Though Christie’s performances at the debates thus far have been praised by the left-leaning political pundits and Governor chris christie

Did you know? Christie suggests pressuring China through negotiation. See our comparison chart on page 42 for more!

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